COTABATO CITY - Local candidates in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) belonging mostly to the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and the contending United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) are gearing up for their respective campaign antics in an election campaign shortened by two days due to the coming Catholic observance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Candidates for local posts, including this year 26 ARMM regional positions, are supposed to have 45 days to campaign under Commission on Elections' Resolution 9385.
The resolution sets the start of local campaign on March 29. But because such day falls on Good Friday, the Comelec is moving it to March 30, according to Davao City elections officer Ferolino Ampoloquio.
Additionally, the official said, Section 5 of Republic Act 7166 provides that, in preparation of the election calendar, the Commission may exclude the day before the adjusted campaign schedule that falls on a Maundy Thursday.
This means, local candidates will only have 43 days to campaign, short of two days in a supposed 45-day period.
Local Comelec officials said the prohibition on campaigning during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday is applicable nationwide, and that erring candidates can be charged for violation of campaign rules.